Kano State Governor, Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso, has launched the Commercial Agriculture Development Programme (CADP) 'Initiative 5-3-3-5' and distribution of cheques worth about N35 million to service providers under the scheme.
Kwankwaso lamented that 70 per cent of Nigerians are farmers yet it imports food while those countries that have only 5 per cent of their total population engaged in agriculture but export food to countries like Nigeria, and stated that efforts must be intensified to transform the agricultural process in the country for sustainability.
According to him, the state government in collaboration with other stakeholders is promoting the adoption of modern agricultural techniques for increased productivity, poverty mitigation and private sector growth among others.
Kwankwaso asserted that his administration is encouraging able-bodied people to take up agriculture as a means of livelihood, adding that because of this the government established five agriculture based institutes in the state, which have so far trained more than 2,000 youths in less than two years.
The governor also described the CADP as a far-reaching enterprise capable of promoting sustainable food security and income generation. He thanked the World Bank for its favourable disposition toward the development of the state, assuring that his government was committed to working with donor agencies toward accelerated agricultural prosperity in Kano and Nigeria as a whole.
The World Bank supported project is aimed at shifting perception, goal and motive of food production away from subsistence to commercially-inclined agriculture that is driven and sustained by profit, thus creating an enabling environment for agro business. In Kano state, the project is promoting the activities of three value chains of rice, maize and dairy.
In her address, the state Commissioner for Agriculture, Hajiya Baraka Sani, explained that the project, unlike previous agricultural interventions, is demand driven and beneficiary oriented, where support is given based on realistic demands from farmers through their commodity interest groups.
The Commissioner maintained that the project is steadily progressing in Kano, pointing out that so far, 160 Commodity Interest Groups were supported with grants of over N200 million to implement business plans along the value chains of maize, rice and dairy.
The National Project Coordinator, CADP, Dr. Aminu Babandi, stated that it is designed to assist small and medium scale farmers to access productivity enhancing technologies, infrastructure, finance and output markets, explaining that the target is to ensure that 10,000 farmers benefit in Kano during the five-year time frame of the programme.
Babandi disclosed that the World Bank has set aside a substantial amount of money for farmers to access under the project, noting that all hands must be on deck to ensure that farmers in Kano make good use of the opportunity for the economic development of the state.